Sunday, November 8, 2015

End of the Year Fruits and Veggies

It was a mixed bag this year when it came to our fruits and veggies.  The fruit trees have never been so prolific.  The apples were plentiful and large.  This is the first year that we really had any plums that were a substantial size.  The Comice pears were huge and even broke some branches.  The Bosch pear tree had about 20 pears which was about 15 more than usual.

The veggies on the other hand were so so.  But the good news is that we now know what the problem is and how we are going to correct it.  We have a lot of black walnut trees and there are a lot of veggies and fruits that do not do well planted near them or in area where walnut hulls, shells, and leaves have been left to decompose.  Tomatoes, peppers, and beans abruptly wilt when planted by back walnut trees.   The tomatoes and peppers that we planted in pots grew like crazy.

The garlic and onions are not affected by the black walnut trees.  The onions grew until about the size of a  small potato because the clay soil was just too hard.  The garlic grew just fine but we made the mistake of not cutting off the seed heads.  From what I read (too late), was that you need to cut them off if you want large garlic bulbs to develop.  Next year we will know better.
The tomatoes that grew in the pots were large but not abundant because they got a late start.  After our first tomatoes wilted due to the black walnut problem we purchase 10 plants for $10 at the hardware store.  The harvest was just enough to make BLTs until we couldn't look at another one and the remaining maters made their way into several pots of spaghetti sauce and chili.
We can't undo the damage done to our soil from the black walnut trees but we can try and keep up with picking up the walnuts and discarded hulls so they do not decompose.  When it comes to picking up the leaves we are doing our best but there are a lot of leaves.

I should have realized that black walnuts affect some plants.  I read about it eons ago but sometimes you can't see the forest for the black walnut trees.  It makes so much sense now.  I walked around the yard and noted everywhere I had a tree or shrub die and sure enough it was under a black walnut tree.

Next year the tomatoes and peppers are going in large pots again and we will forego trying to plant them in the ground.  The garlic will get the seed head cut off the minute that they start to show and our onions will get planted in soil that is loosen up a little with some compost and peat moss. Hopefully that will allow them to get bigger.

Does anyone know what kind of fruit this could be????  The fruit is larger than a 50 cent piece in diameter.  My guess is quince.  The tree sprouted right on the edge of our property.

R is feeling much better after a close call on Tuesday.  While I was at the doctor's office on Tuesday, R was home puttering around when he stopped to pet Elvis.  He said he was sitting there calmly petting him when Elvis bit him on the arm really hard.  Completely out of the blue.  Lately Elvis has been playing hard but has never bit anyone or even scratched anyone.  We have always had females cats, that we always got spayed right away.  So when Morrie nd Elvis were born in our barn it was the first time we had male cats.  There is such a difference between male and female cats.  It's actually kind of funny to watch them.
I have been after R to get them both neutered but I think the guy in him kept from pulling the trigger on making an appointment until Tuesday.  By the time I got back home Elvis had a Friday morning appointment for a neutering.

R on the other hand cleaned his wound with hydrogen peroxide and went about his business. Come Wednesday morning his arm was swollen and very red from elbow to wrist.  He called his doctor and got right in for an appointment.  Doc wanted to admit him to the hospital but R talked him out of it and instead has been seeing his doctor every day so he can check it along with taking two types of strong antibiotics.

Elvis came home Saturday morning.  He is not happy and basically just sits there and stares at R. LOL   In two weeks, Morrie will go in for his adjustment.  When Sasha and Patches went to the vet to get spayed, they both came right home and acted like nothing had happened.

In house news....on Friday the window guy came back with the installer and I think the other guy was the owner.  The installer remeasured and on Monday or Tuesday I will get the final figures and place the order.  The bad news is that it will probably be the first of January before the windows are installed.

We have been tweaking our downspouts.  Shortening some and making others longer.  Tomorrow we are going to redo a length of gutter that we have never liked how it looked.  Rather than having a straight run we will add a corner piece and end the gutter around the corner and have the downspout come down the side of the living room rather than on the front wall.  I purchased all the eave trough parts last week but I'll need t make another trip to Home Depot for a length of 1x6, in vinyl for the fascia board.  I need a 3 foot length and all we have in our stash is one 10 inch piece.  We use the thick solid vinyl fascia boards for two reasons.  One....we will not have to paint them now or down the road.  Two.....they will not rot if the snow, ice, and rain get them wet.

So there you have it.  It's always something....isn't it?